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  • pnt2013The atmosphere at the PNT Grand Finals 2013 was electric with excitement. Consid­ering the fact that this was an amateur event, the quality of the singers’ performances was mind-blowing. Every song number was a delight. Every member of the audience ap­plauded, whistled and cheered at every turn. It just goes to show that when performers deliver, the audience will respond in kind.

    “I will never, ever judge a competition like this again,” swore Judi Vankevich, mu­sician, author, and one of Canada’s leading entertainers. Ms Vankevich said she found it too hard to pick the winners when the con­testants were uniformly that good.

    Rey Fortaleza, president of the Reyfort Media Group, and the organizer of the PNT Idol competitions, agreed with Judi Vankev­ich’s assessment. As he sat and watched the finalists perform, Fortaleza said with obvi­ous regret, “I wish that none of these singers had to lose, because every one of them is clearly a winner.” He was already planning of ways to showcase such an incredible pool of talent.

    The Pinoy NewTalent BC Grand Finals was a well-organized event. The program started on time. The supporters of the final­ists were assigned specially marked areas in the theatre, all the better to encourage their  candidate together. Every group displayed their banners proudly, but all were ready with their applause and their cheers, no mat­ter who happened to be on the stage.

    Abigail Henick, one of the contestants for the Junior Category, seemed to have brought with her the biggest, the loudest, and most generous cheering squads of all, possibly her whole Grade 8 Class from Our Lady of Perpetual School, along with a few parents and several teachers. When Abigail Henick finally won one of the Junior Cham­pionship trophies, her fans exploded into an ear-shattering celebration.

    The evening opened with a congratulato­ry speech fromVancouver’s Consul General Neil Ferrer, then a welcoming one from Rey Fortaleza of Reyfort Media. The speeches were followed by the stellar performances of two pint-sized PNT veterans, 10-year-old Tyson Venegas and 6-year-old Angel Lu­mayag, all to thunderous applause. Celeb­rities that included Salve Dayao, Ria Jade, Peter Tam, Welle Medina & the WM Band provided beautiful intermission numbers.

    When the competition finally began, everyone paid very close attention, because it became clear right away that the judges were going to have a hard time choosing the winners. The contestants were judged on their vocals, stage presence and the overall entertainment value of their performances. To ensure fairness and accuracy, the score sheets were taken to volunteer tabulators Gigi Ricarse and Mike Pestano as soon as the judges had written their numbers down. The tabulators would then record the total points for each contestant.

    The Idol judges included Ike Lalji, CEO & Chairman of the Miss World Canada Pag­eants; Judi Vankevich, one of Canada’s lead­ing entertainer and CEO of The Manners Club & Life Skills International; Ria Jade, 16-year-old musician and TV host; Peter Tam, singer, composer, conductor and TV producer; and Raymond Maghirang, busi­nessman, bass guitarist and award-winning musician.

    When the winners were finally an­nounced, no one was disappointed. Every one of them had the vocals, the moves, and the stage presence required, along with the obvious singing talent that seem to ooze out of their every pore.

    The winners for the Open Category are Mavie Dato and Jhonette Sevilla, Grand Champions. Mavie Dato sang Please Stay with Me. Jhonette Sevilla performed I’m Telling You by Jennifer Hudson. Marc Bet­sayda, First Runner Up. Alyssa Gutierrez, Second Runner Up.

    The winners for the Junior Category are MJ Ancheta and Abigail Henick, Grand Champions. MJ sang Emotions by Ma­ria Carey while Abigail performed I Got Rhythm by Ella Fitzgerald. Jasmine Stacey, First Runner Up. Camilla Chan, Second Runner Up.

    The winners were awarded trophies, flowers and gift certificates.
    Part of the evening was dedicated to the ReyFort Media Group’s 50-50 Raffle draw, a fundrasing effort for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines. The draw raised $403 dollars, fifty percent of which went to Dolly Stoochnow, the 50-50 Draw winner.

    The whole program was skilfully guided through the evening by a team of emcees headed by Manny Noel Abuel from Bali- tang Vancouver, and the lovely ladies of the PNT Idol Team: Vanessa Hillman, Breyanne Bautista and Charisse Curata, under the di­rection of the hardworking OIC and Musi­cal Director of PNT Idol Canada, Welle Medina.

    All in all, the show was a great success. Next stop will be the Canada Grand Finals for the PNT Idols in the spring of 2014. The grand winner for the Open-Category-Can­ada wide PNT Singing Idol will receive Phinma Properties Arezo’s one condo unit, Round trip ticket to the Philippines with pocket money, a week stay at Grazie Suites international and visit at TV5 Studio. As for the Junior Category grand winner will be round trip to the Philippines with pocket money and visit to TV5 Studio.

    Photo above: CHAMPIONS ALL. Mavie Dato and Jhonette Sevilla (1st & 2nd from left) triumphed in the B.C. finals of the first Canada-wide Pinoy New Talent Idol contest in the Open Category. Also declared winners in the Junior Category were MJ Ancheta and Abigail Henick. The four B.C. champions will represent the province in the national PNT grand competition in the spring of 2014.

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